Making of canvases, marouflage, padding, and the storage of stage fabrics are the specialities of the Cloth Making, Upholstery, and Softs workshop.
The workshop has two nine-metre-long tables that enable work to be carried out on exceptionally large pieces of material.
In order to provide the audience with the best possible visibility from their seats in the auditorium, parts of the set such as sofas are often made 20/25% larger than the standard size.
The seams often require great care because they need to be invisible.
La Monnaie does not have a specific house curtain that has traditionally been used; each show has its own. The largest curtains measure up to 18 m wide and 10 m high. They cannot be laid flat in the workshop… a rail was therefore installed in the Scenery Assembly Room from which they can be suspended to check the seams.
One of the main missions of the Cloth Making, Upholstery, and Softs workshop is marouflage, a technique that consists of gluing or stapling canvases onto wooden frameworks. In an effort to reduce waste, the glue is now only applied to the frame so that the panels can be recycled.
The two artisans of the workshop also handle the padding, stuffing, and reupholstery of chairs. Some chairs are purchased and converted. It is important, for example, that a singer doesn’t sink into a chair while singing! A plank of wood is often added to make them easy to sit on while still maintaining a soft and comfortable appearance.
The canvases and fabrics handled by the Cloth Making, Upholstery, and Softs workshop are often heavy. The glittering curtain for Lulu (2021) was more than 50m long and weighed 300 kg!
Once the productions are finished, the Cloth Making, Upholstery, and Softs workshop is also in charge of storing the stage fabrics.